Most babies have developed a routine of hitting their head on crib bars—like a second nature, they’ll hit their head with every little chance they get.
This could be the case with your baby right now, and you’re worried about what the after-effects might look like.
So, I suppose that’s precisely why you are here at this very moment: To know how to prevent your baby from hitting head on crib bars.
That said, let’s get started.
9 Reasons Why Babies Hit their Heads on Crib bars
If you understand why most babies hit their heads on crib bars, you won’t have to overthink whenever you see your baby hitting their head.
Sometimes, you’re a parent who’s just trying to do their best, but it’s hard to know what that even means.
Every parenting decision feels like a high-stakes gamble.
So you’re constantly second-guessing yourself and wondering if you’re making the right decisions.
Babies hitting their heads on crib bars happens to be one of those moments you have to decide on.
And that begs the question: what are the reasons babies hit their heads on crib bars?
More importantly, how can you stop them from doing it?
1) Babies are super curious. They want to figure out how things work and how they fit into the world around them.
For this reason, they spend a lot of time testing out hypotheses and exploring while they’re awake.
Hitting their head is a common way to discover how the bars in their crib feel and what will happen when they bang into it. Perhaps this sounds weird but it’s a fact.
2) Babies need stimulation. If your child doesn’t have many toys or other opportunities for sensory exploration, then it makes perfect sense that they’d turn to bang their head against bars for entertainment and stimulation.
3) Teething is also part of the reason babies bang their heads. Many babies start teething around 6 months old. This can cause them to hit their heads because their gums hurt so much.
They might also be trying to find ways to relieve the pain by biting or chewing on things, such as cribs.
If this is the case, you probably won’t need to do anything about it except for possibly giving your baby something to chew on, like a teething toy.
However, if the problem persists for a few days or weeks, it might be best to take her in to get checked out just in case something else is wrong.
4) Babies easily get bored and will find whatever means necessary to provide themselves with entertainment.
Practically, babies spend 99% of their time laying around, so why wouldn’t they get restless? Especially when they’re on the brink of learning to walk?
Our advice is to try giving your baby some toys that can be easily manipulated while they’re lying down.
A rattle ball or something with a knob that turns is perfect for this stage in their development.
5) Babies tend to get a little bit fussy when they’re running low on sleep. If you find that your baby’s head-banging habit tends to occur more frequently at the end of the day, it could be because he or she is getting cranky and sleep-deprived.
Make sure your babe is getting a full 12 hours of sleep every night (including naps) to avoid over-tiredness.
6) Babies reach a stage where they enjoy hitting things, especially when it makes a noise or causes something to happen.
A good way to help discourage this behavior is by giving your baby a soft toy and demonstrating how to hit it gently instead of hitting the bars in the crib.
This teaches your baby that hitting can be fun, but only when done in a safe way that doesn’t harm anyone or anything else in the process.
7) Babies don’t understand how the world works – they’re rather naïve about everything, same applies to hitting their heads on crib bars – They don’t know it’ll hurt because they don’t understand the simple concept of cause-and-effect.
That’s precisely why as a parent, you don’t have to let them out of your sight. However, as they keep playing around with their environment, they’ll eventually get to understand how the world operates, including the law of cause-and-effect.
Everything will evolve naturally. Your job as a parent is to guide their actions as they live through this process.
8) Babies also hit their heads on crib bars when they’re trying to get your attention.
Humans are social creatures; we crave connection with other people, and babies are no exception.
So, understand that hitting their heads is one of the numerous ways babies call for attention.
9) Babies can also hit their heads on crib bars because they lack spatial awareness.
Just in case you’re wondering about that, spatial awareness is knowing the position of your body in relation to the surrounding objects and people.
This is a complex skill that children develop during their early stages. For some children, however, it can be quite difficult to develop.
This explains part of the reason babies hit their heads on crib bars – they are still discovering their bodies, where they end, and where the space around them begins.
They haven’t yet developed a sense of spatial awareness, so it’s common for them to bump up against things as they move from one position to another.
Tips on how to prevent your baby from hitting their head on crib bars?
First off, you can’t stop babies from hitting their heads on crib bars because you can’t exactly communicate reasons to them – they haven’t developed a good sense of judgment and they can’t interpret situations properly.
What you can do instead is apply some preventive measures that’ll help reduce the chances and impact of banging their heads, which is precisely the reason for this section.
- Keep the crib bars well-padded. To do this, simply purchase a bumper wrap (either from Amazon or Walmart) and secure it around the bars of your crib.
You should take extra care to make sure the bumper is tied tightly enough so that it can’t come loose or shift out of place in any way.
If you have any doubts about whether or not it’s tied securely enough, just ask someone to double-check for you.
- Spread out your baby’s toys so they aren’t all right next to each other and at risk of being knocked over into their headspace.
This means placing them on either side of the crib, which will give your little one a better chance at reaching them without having to thrash wildly from side to side.
- Securely cover any sharp edges on furniture with padding (or remove it altogether). You can use blankets or towels for this purpose;
- Rearrange your baby’s room so that they can’t see out of the window from inside their crib.
Babies often become fascinated with what is happening outside and will spend hours banging their heads against the bars to catch a glimpse of whatever it is that’s so fascinating.
You can also cover up or remove any mirrors or other reflective surfaces in your baby’s room that might entice them to bang their heads against the bars.
- Another thing you can do to make the crib safer is to buy a good mattress. A good mattress will absorb much of the impact and reduce the chance of your baby hitting its head.
You should also buy one that has a lot of padding, as this will help prevent the baby from getting hurt.
- Make sure the crib is stable and sturdy, and there shouldn’t be anything within reach that could cause an issue if it falls or gets thrown out of the crib—or loses a part (like a toy) that could get stuck in the crib bars.
- Get them a bigger bed. Lol. Your baby will grow quickly, so make sure that you’re keeping up with them by getting them larger sleeping arrangements as they get older.
- Pad the crib bars. If your child is hitting their head with enough frequency to worry you, pad the bars with soft blankets or special bumpers made for cribs until they get larger—or just wait until they’re ready for a bigger bed.
- A nightlight may help. Especially if your child is afraid of the dark, having some extra light in the room when they wake up at night may help prevent accidents.
- If you’re going out of town, hire a babysitter who is willing to disrupt your sleeping baby’s sleep schedule by letting them sleep during the day and playing with them at night.
This way, you don’t have to hear them cry and risk them hitting their head again when you come home from vacation and try to put them down for the night.
- Use bumpers around all four sides of the crib so as not to leave any open space where an infant could roll-off or fall out into another surface below.
Then put padding underneath these bumpers so that if there were ever any bumps or bruises after falling, at least it wouldn’t hurt too much! You’ll also want something soft like blankets covering up those bars on top.
- Even if you follow the previous tip, babies will still find a way to hit their heads somehow—they’re pretty clever creatures! Thankfully, there is another easy way to keep your child’s head safe.
All you have to do is make them put on gloves and mittens. This will reduce the impact when banging their heads, thus reducing the risk of head injury.
- You knew this was coming: by far the best way to ensure that your baby doesn’t hit her head on anything is by putting her in an enclosed container.
Boxes are perfect for this purpose—not only do they provide plenty of room for your baby’s legs and arms, but they also come in all shapes and sizes, providing a custom fit for every baby.
Babies will always remain naïve, curious, and explorative as they have been for ages so it’s only smart, we learn to manage how they operate rather than trying to change them – which seems less probable.
In other words, there will always be cases where babies hit their heads on crib bars – might not be yours, maybe your neighbor’s child, or that of a relative.
So, it’s important to understand the basic reasons children bang their heads and of course how to prevent it.
Having gone through this guide, the best bet is, you’ll no longer have to misinterpret situations concerning babies banging their heads on crib bars, especially if you’re a first-time mother.